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Air Quality Management unveiled new policy to fight air pollution in Delhi-NCR

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Taking important steps to improve the climate of Delhi NCR and adjoining areas, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) released a new policy which lists sector-wise action plans over the next five years to tackle the menace.

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The policy covers industries, vehicles, public transport, construction and demolition (C&D), dust from road-open areas, burning of municipal solid waste, stubble burning etc. Contains area wise recommendations to Central Government, State Governments of NCR and various agencies and departments along with Central Pollution Control Boards, State Pollution Control Boards to prevent, control and reduce air pollution in NCR.

The policy framed by CAQM includes issues such as thermal power plants (TPP), clean fuel and electric vehicles, public transport, road traffic management, diesel generators (DG), handling of bursting of crackers, reducing air pollution through greenery and tree plantation. As per this policy with immediate effect, all thermal power plants located within 300 kms of Delhi will have to ensure compliance of emission norms as per the time frame prescribed by the Union Environment Ministry.

In view of the lack of infrastructure and systems in the sub-regions of NCR, due to widespread changes in infrastructure and different levels of urbanisation, a different approach and time-frame has been suggested for the sub-regions. These sub-regions include Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Baghpat and other NCR districts.

The entire state of Punjab and non-NCR districts of Haryana have been kept in this mainly to address the incidents of stubble burning. The policy covers industries, power plants, vehicles and transport, diesel generator sets, construction/demolition projects/roads and open areas such as municipal solid waste/biomass burning, stubble burning, crackers burning, other scattered sources like dust.

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It may be noted that the inputs and suggestions received in a series of stakeholder consultations have been suitably incorporated in the relevant sections. The Expert Group has suggested short-term (up to one year), medium-term (one-three years), and long-term (three-five years) actions, considering the issues and complexities involved.

This time frame has been varied for different sub-regions/regions/districts/cities to provide room for change for all to meet the common air quality target. The Commission has already shared this policy with the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, NCR State Governments, GNCTD and various agencies so that comprehensive work can be done on the policy to curb air pollution in NCR.

key points of the policy

Wider access to affordable clean fuels and technology in industry, transport and households.

Mobility changes including mass transit, electrification of vehicles, building walking and cycling infrastructure and reducing personal vehicle use, etc.

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Waste should be disposed of properly and arrangements should be made to prevent it from burning.

Construction and demolition works and dust flying from roads should be controlled with green measures.

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